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Symmetricom And Mindspeed Bring Precision Timing To Small Cells

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Symmetricom®, Inc. (NASDAQ:SYMM), a worldwide leader in precision time and frequency technologies, and Mindspeed Technologies®, (NASDAQ:MSPD), an industry leader in technology for small cell chips today announced they are working together to set the industry standard for precise time synchronization to include precision timing and GPS functionality to small cell system-on-chip (SoC) products.


The integration of  Precision Timing Protocol (PTP) and Network Time Protocol (NTP) into Mindspeed's Transcede® T2000 and T3000 device families cuts customers' costs and simplifies development as external components are no longer needed and the functionality is directly supported as part of Mindspeed's small cell reference design.

Like all base stations, small cells require precision timing. However, the techniques used to achieve this within traditional macrocells are prohibitively expensive for cost-sensitive mass market products like small cells. Many small cells therefore use NTP as a software (packet-based) alternative, necessitating development and integration. Symmetricom delivers a demonstrated interoperable solution, accelerating time to market and reducing risk.

Cellular technologies require very precise timing far more demanding than many familiar technologies. For example, a small cell base station must have a frequency accuracy of 100 parts per billion and must be able to maintain this accuracy over a wide temperature range and over months or years of operation. Traditional base stations have used Rubidium clocks and double ovened oscillators to achieve this accuracy, but are impossible to use in a cost-sensitive small cell application. In today's environment, smarter packet-based techniques are used instead.

Symmetricom's SCr/SCe NTP/ PTP and sGPS SoftClock solution will provide the highest level of time and frequency accuracy to Mindspeed's industry leading Transcede small cell products. Symmetricom also supports softGPS which can be used to confirm the location of the small cell.

The Mindspeed solution supports NTP and PTP directly. No additional hardware is needed and only requires an external low-cost radio for GPS as all the processing is done on the SoC. Unlike many GPS implementations, the solution is optimized for high-sensitivity so the small cell can get location even indoors and in areas which were once impenetrable by traditional GPS solutions. 

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